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Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale - Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)

Not Rated.
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome AleSamuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,805 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,805
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 22
Gots: 64 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster) visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Winter Warmer |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,805 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of apintofknowledge
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep coppery hue with a thin white head. Medium-sized bubbles of carbonation cling to the side of the glass. The aroma is reminiscent of nuts and cheese, with a slight alcohol scent. The taste… very complex, lots of flavors coming through on all parts of my palate. There’s a sweet caramel malt character, a slightly sour yeast & cheese flavor, a slight grassy green hops bitterness, and a definite alcohol taste in the finish. New flavors come forward with every sip. Very full mouthfeel with lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation… perhaps a bit too much.

Altogether, a very interesting brew. Not the most drinkable… so much going on in terms of the flavor that one pint would do me good. But definitely unique. Noted that as I drank more, the flavor soured quite a bit, leading me to lower my initial scores on taste and drinkability.

apintofknowledge, Jan 08, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12/31/04- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- Poured into my Hangtown Brewery pint glass. 16.7 oz bottle with no expiration date.

Appearance- An inch head with average lacing. Nice light brown ale color pour.

Smell- Mmmm, a sweet soft candied scent. I guess maybe caramel, but a candy one rather than the typical malt caramel smell.

Taste- One of the best mixes of malt and hops I have tasted. Perfect combo for me. Sweet caramel and other candy tastes abound with a bit of a roasted flavor in the background.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation and an average mouthfeel. Aftertaste is just a tad bitter and hangs around a bit longer than expected.

Drinkability- This has always been on of my favorites. I love just about everything from Samuel Smith. I will always have a few of these each holiday season.

GClarkage, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was very similar to the Sam Smith India Ale. The beer pours to a beautiful amber color with a decent tan head. Smells of hops and caramel with a hint of fruity aroma. This was one beer that left me craving for more, but I ended up having to settle for the IPA I mentioned above, which will have to substitute for the Winter Welcome during the off-season. Exceptional beer.

neonbrown82, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of mntlover
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper colored with a off white head falls and laces so slightly. Aroma is light toasted malt with nut tones some spice mixed with fruit. Taste is fully carbonated almost to a fault, needs to cut back on CO2 a tad. Some toasted malt mixed with nuts and touch of caramel finishes with touch of spice nutmeg and hints of vanilla little hops in finish also but mostly spice. Mouthfeel is too carbonated and a little thin. Drinakability is ok but nothing to look for, a little light in my opinion for a winter warmer.

mntlover, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of Suds
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear bottle of the 2004-2005 vintage. This brew presents itself in a beautiful light-copper color with a terrific head: firm, white, and clumpy. The smell is primarily of lightly toasted malt, with a woody-winy character, and a touch of English hops. Slight butterscotch. A bit of sulfur is present as well (a little lightstruck?). The taste is fairly dry, with a light-malt tastiness flowing through. It’s both nutty and astringent. The beer is somewhat heavily carbonated. Finish is dry and clean, with a moderate bitterness. Overall, this is a solid, good brew. I wouldn’t mind having it year-round.

Suds, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of tatterdash
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a yellowish-white foamy head that dissolves rather fast. Aroma of malt and bit of bread, not too much smell compared to other Sam Smith ales. Taste was a bitter toffee malt with a moderately long hoppy bitter finish, a bit of warming alcohol entered as it warmed. Mouthfeel was medium, definitely full bodied. This is not a style I am too familiar with, but the other WW I tried was definitely better scoring.

tatterdash, Dec 18, 2004
Photo of baiser
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

As a winter warmer, this was pretty disappointing. Definitely not one of sam smith's better beers. Body was clear, amber colour. White head, foamy. Lacing was minimal. Taste was malt, caramel, metallic. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thin side. However, a decent ale to knock back a few.

baiser, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of rugger
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004-2005 clear bottles always scare me but I wanted to try it. Poured a nice coppery clear with little head. I even poured down the middle of the glass. The initial smell was kind of bland and bitter, however the taste was a little better than bland, however still a little on the bitter/sour side. I can pick out a small hint of hops and a little caramel. I expected a little more spice for a winter warmer. I am not to impressed however this does have a nice thick/full mouthfeel good thing I only picked up one bottle.

rugger, Dec 15, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Label Lingo and bottle babble: 2002-2003. Like a Beatles album motif. 1 pt 2.7 Fl oz. 550 mL. Imperial pint.

Orange coppery chill hazed pour with loads of bubble fizz rising topped off by a tight micro antique white cap. Lots of head retention. What a pour!

Tea leaf and bitter sour sweet notes.

First Swigs: Sweet and bitter done dry finish. Dry lingering finish. Toasted malts, some mixed spices. Smooth malts like melted vanilla ice cream.

Creamy texture.

Last Swigs: Never had this one before. Like Boddington’s on steroids. Not too much else to say.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Dec 14, 2004
Photo of JackStraw22
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004-2005 Love the Samuel Smith bottles, cool shape. Too bad they're clear. Somebody has to be able to develop a glass that's cheap and doesn't let in UV light. Hmm..off to make my fortune :-) Light amber beer, about an inch of white head. Lots of bubbles. Wasn't crazy about the smell at first, but it grew on me as I drank it, I guess it needed to air out, very floral. The hops really come through on this, but they aren't offensive at all, just very dry, not very sweet. Feels thin in the mouth, not a whole lot of substance. Ok beer, if you can get it fresh, nothing really exciting, though.

JackStraw22, Dec 14, 2004
Photo of RootedFool
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dumped entirely into a Duvel tulip glass. Deep amber color, nearly crimson. The head resembles a feathery merengue and is tan in color.


Lemon grass, slight caramel and lighty sugared raison undertones. Subtle hints of clear bottle skunk, but not overpowering.


Subtle, palate-encompassing soft pinch of hops against an expanse of candied fruit (like the fruit in a fruit cake, fruit cake). Aftertaste is a nice buzz on the center of my tongue -- a dry remnant of hop bitterness.

Middling carbonation; creamy consistency.

RootedFool, Dec 12, 2004
Photo of Backer2004
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Saw the Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome announcement in an ad today in All About Beer Magazine and thought I'd try it out. Liked the updated label each year with the dates of the winter season. The clear glass bottle doesn't do anything for me but did not worry about the skunking process. Really beginning to enjoy the winter warmers but this is still not as good as Sam Adams or Avery's. Nice mouthfeel (but nothing too impressive for the style). A bit on the expensive side at the store ($8.00 for 4-12 ounces). Probably will try others instead the rest of the season and pass on this purchase again.

Backer2004, Dec 12, 2004
Photo of littlebibs
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this Winter Welcome Ale as a gift and opened her up
and slowly poured, careful not to breath in to deep as I to, have,
in the past, experienced the "special skunked" release. To my
surprise this ale wasn't half bad. Nice head and the lace stayed
around the glass as I drank. Typical Samuel Smith tastes but also some welcome
bitters and spices- well balanced. I dedect some fruits and a nutty
caramel back there but its the dry hop ending that I liked about this
ale and I gave it a higher rating. Although its on the lighter side
I would like to find this on tap this winter. Not bad at all.

littlebibs, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of bashiba
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an almost perfect shade of amber with a nice thick creamy head that clings to the glass.

Smell is a very light bread and caramel odors with some malt sweetness as well.

Taste has a heavy toasted malt flavor with a little bit of mineral flavors and a nice juniper like hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium full and very dry.

Drinkablity is fine, but not great, not so good I would want to sit and drink a bunch of these.

bashiba, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, first the aroma was a little skunky...if they would just use brown bottles. The aroma was a little yeasty and sour with very little hop bouquet.

Poured a beautiful fossil amber color with a nice thick beige head. The head was longlasting and composed of small tiny bubbles.

Taste was sweet and malty, with a slight hint of cinnamon and clove. There were also subtle hints of chocolate, toffee and butterscotch. Again there was very little hop finish to this beer.

Good carbonation level but a little thin on the body. Head was surprisingly creamy.

All in all it went pretty well with my ice cream birthday cake.

Wolfsdenbrew, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of slitherySOB
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ooh, a delicious beer. Pours a lovely, transparent amber with a thich, two finger head that's sticky as Scotch tape. Lace sticks around like foam. Nice. Smells a bit skunked at first. But that weakened a bit. Nice, bready malts, herbal hops, and some minerals. Very soft scent. Very soft taste as well. Overall, a soft, bready malt flavour balanced by bitter minerals and sharp, citric and floral hops. Mouthfeel is nice and dry. Very drinkable. I like it.

slitherySOB, Dec 06, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
2.95/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dissapointed, don't think the clear bottle lasted the trip. Pours a nice dark honey with streaks of cherry wood, the head is like whipped cream. The smell was of cinnamon and nutmeg with almond finish, nuts galore. The taste was very robust with dry nuts and a dark toffee tingle, taste seemed dull and metallic, medium bodied, pour clear bottle ruined this one.

beertaster13, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love and hate Sam Smith's bottles. I hate them because most, though strangely not all of them (the India Ale is in brown glass) are clear glass. This has resulted in several skunked samples. I love Sam Smith's bottles because the labels are so stylish. They have a cool Victorian thing going. The Winter Welcome label might be my favorite because its equal parts monty python. Anyways enough blabbing....

This beer pours the color of a well aged Scotch Whisky with a fine beaded white head. Head retention is excellent with sheets of lace left on glass. The aroma is of fruity malts, earthy fresh hops, butterscotch (diacetyl?), and that characteristic dry Sam Smith's Yeast. The taste is of caramel malts, all spice, citrus notes, nuts and some medicinal hop bitterness. An pleasant alcohol spicyness also makes itself present. The finish is slightly astringent. This beer is much lighter in body than I expected. It has the complex and velvety mouthfeel I find in most Sam Smith beers.

This is a really good ale that seems like more of a bitter than a winter warmer. Its well balanced and quite robust in flavor.

CAMRAhardliner, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of FormatKid
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up 550 of this from my local beer stop, happy to see a seasonal or two at old Harry Food. As always I’m frightened by the clear bottle (for good reason this time). Upon opening my senses were assaulted by some of the most potent skunk I’ve experienced to date so I poured it and let it air out a bit. I have to say though it really is an attractive brew, crystal clear copper colored body with a light tan head that is thick and resilient, leaving sheets of lace on the glass as it recedes. After it airs out a bit I do detect some sweet malt and leafy, earthy hop underneath the prevailing skunk. As I take a drink I pick up on the creamy, almost buttery malt flavors, the middle presents a nice, robust, flat bitterness, with tiny hints of rum and raison. Nicely bitter through the finish with a smattering of earthy flavor and sweet hints of rum in the aftertaste. Not a bad beer, but I will be the millionth person to complain about the packaging.

FormatKid, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of twelvsies
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours with a huge foamy head and leaves a nice thick lacing. Smell is a bit off however. A nice malty buttery smell with some herby hobs to compliment, but it also smells a tad like metal or dirt or something. Taste is rather similar. Not a lot of flavor to this beer in my opinion. I did drink it out of a chilled beer mug, which is all that was available, and I would recommend letting it warm up a bit to let the flavors come out. A nice bitterness is this beer's best quality. Very smooth mouthfeel and this beer is pretty light and easy to drink.

twelvsies, Nov 29, 2004
Photo of pootz
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/2 liter clear bottle...2004-05 edition. Nice looking ale in the glass...bright orange amber, lightly cabonated...fair foamy cap that laces well. Aromas of friuts (peach -pear) and fresh cut wood, caramel malts, leafy hops . Creamy body well hopped with the substantial caramel malts in fair balance... medium finish with slow but not over bearing bittering and some warming effect...A nice well rounded ale with no sharp edges...A pleasant drink

pootz, Nov 24, 2004
Photo of rajendra82
3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the trepidation inducing clear glass 550 ml. bottle to the pint glass, the beer looked orange, clear, and possessed a modest sized, short lived head. The aroma was slightly spicy along with perfumey floral scents, and thankfully no skunk. The taste showed typical English beer restraint, and tasted very balanced. There was a buttery, salty, caramelized malt flavor similar to a hard butterscotch candy. The level of hops was high for an offering from across the pond, however the hops were mostly of the aromatic variety with low bitterness. The beer was creamy on the palette with a slightly dry aftertaste. Astonishingly drinkable for a 6% ABV beer, as the alcohol is very well hidden. This does not have the oomph of the other winter warmers, I can find off the shelves, but is a quality beer nonetheless.

rajendra82, Nov 17, 2004
Photo of NEhophead
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

550ml clear glass bottle.

2004/2005 edition.

Creamy off white head with some large pools of bubbles; head fades rather quickly to a semi-transparent sheet. Some thin and spotted lacing with slightly above average strength. Clear and bright orange/auburn in color.

Faint caramel maltiness with a slightly oxidized character. A bit of a dried fruit aroma as well: raisin, plum, and date. Very mild aromatics.

A big biscuit flavor along with hints of raisin, almond, and oak. Also a distinct nut-like component. A very faint underlying maltiness that's nowhere near as sweet as its aroma implies. A slight nut-filled bitterness that leads to a huge dry finish ( a little too dry for my taste).

Medium bodied; a bit bitter and grainy on the palate, but nothing unobtrusive.

A pleasant ale, but not much flash. Too bland for me to have another pint. Slightly disappointing; one of my least favorites from Sammy Smith.

NEhophead, Nov 12, 2004
Photo of Hibernator
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 - 2005 Winter Welcome Edition

I had this out of a 12 oz clear bottle and served in a Samuel Smith's pint glass.

Amberish copper in color with a fluffy head on top, but it disappeared to a ring rather quickly.

Aroma of toasted and sweet malts. I am also getting a strong metallic scent as well.

Strong toasted malt with a slight butterscotch sweetness. Some buttery tastes blend with a peppery hop bite on the finish. Bready mouthful.

I love Samuel Smith's, but this offering was a slight let down. This is a good beer... no question, but at $8.99 for a 4 pack there are many other Samuel Smith's offerings that are much more enjoyable.

Hibernator, Nov 06, 2004
Photo of allengarvin
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2003-2004 edition, pint bottle, in an English glass.

Appearance: Nice reddish-copper appearance, not much head retention.

Aroma: Good earthy hop aroma.

Flavor/Body: Good amount of hop flavor, against a soft, buttery maltiness. Bitterness present and balancing, giving a perceived dryness to the finish. Full bodied and well-carbonated for an English beer.

A very nice beer, which I think of as more of a stronger version of their excellent Old Brewery Pale Ale, than as an extra strong winter beer. I've tried aging it in the past, and found that it's best when fresh.

allengarvin, Nov 02, 2004
Samuel Smith's Winter Welcome Ale from Samuel Smith Old Brewery (Tadcaster)
83 out of 100 based on 1,805 ratings.